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Asymmetries in international merchandise trade statistics: A case study of selected countries in Asia and the Pacific

This working paper introduces the concept of bilateral asymmetries in international merchandise trade statistics (IMTS), i.e. the discrepancies that can be seen in reported bilateral trade flows between trading partners. Such discrepancies mean that the value of exports reported by one country does not equal the value of imports reported by its partner, also called mirror data. These discrepancies impact bilateral trade balances and other economic variables reliant upon trade balance and thus are relevant from trade and economic policymaking.


Afghanistan’s WTO Accession: Costs, Benefits and Post-accession Challenges

The paper undertakes a cost-benefit analysis of Afghanistan’s accession to the WTO while attempting to shed light on the post-WTO accession challenges. For our empirical analysis we have applied the WITS/SMART model to assess the implication of the WTO membership. A cut in tariffs is the independent variable and government revenue, trade creation, consumer welfare and general welfare of the economy are dependent variables. The results indicate that Afghan consumers stand to benefit from tariff reforms with overall positive welfare gains to the economy.


Determinants of interState agricultural trade in India

Determinants of trade among various Indian states have been poorly studied in the literature. In this paper, we examine the nature of agricultural trade among Indian states and identify why certain states export more than others, and what governs trade among these Indian states. Using data provided by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) for years 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014, we employ cross-section as well as panel gravity analysis to identify the impact of trade costs and other factors in determining intra-India trade.


Demand for household sanitation: The case of India

Worldwide, India has the highest number of people defecating in the open. In an attempt to reduce number of open defecation, a supply side initiative is underway. In 2014-2015, Government of India, constructed 8 million toilets. However, an important aspect for this supply-side initiative to become successful is to create demand for toilets. In this paper we look at household demand for toilets, and study the factors leading to open defecation.


Prospects for enhancing energy security in Asia and the Pacific through regional trade

Growing demand for raw materials and the expansion of the productive capacity of emerging economies have exacerbated the region’s high resource dependence, especially in energy, such as fossil fuels. A growth in energy demand, coupled with the high price volatility and dependence on fossil fuels, has made efforts for energy security more challenging than before.


Bribery, Corruption and Bureaucratic Hassle: Evidence from Myanmar

Corruption has been found to be the most severe obstacle to business operations, according to a recent survey of over 3,000 firms in Myanmar. This paper sets out to understand the structure of corruption through an econometric analysis of this survey. It finds that firms with higher ‘ability to pay’ (proxied by sales revenue and employee growth) are more likely to pay bribes. While firms with lower ‘refusal power’ (i.e those dependent on bureaucratic permissions to export and import) are more likely to find corruption to be an obstacle.


Digital Dynamism: How IT and Social Media are Enhancing Business Opportunities for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs

As the Sri Lankan economy attempts to transform into a more value-added and knowledge-led one, recent advancements in technology and innovation have created a plethora of new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. This paper provides four case studies of innovative enterprises and initiatives to demonstrate how the digital economy is enhancing the country’s business potential and creating jobs. The firms studied are all start-ups run by young professionals (between 28-35 years) and are specifically unique to show the range of possible benefits.


The Caspian Basin: Legal, Political and Security Concerns, Pipeline Diplomacy and Implications for EU Energy Security

Regions, rich in energy resources, continue to be of crucial interest for our carbon-powered world. There are numerous things at stake to begin with, from international legal status, ownership rights, energy routes, transit corridors, state and corporate interests, environmental hazards and the overall puzzle of energy diplomacy. Additionally, Caspian is troubled with its own specific set of complexities that are listed in this work.


Trade in Value Added: Concepts, Estimation and Analysis

This working paper introduces the concept of Trade in Value Added (TiVA) and presents an initial analysis of TiVA for selected regional ESCAP economies. The paper introduces Global Value Chains (GVCs) and issues for the measurement of trade statistics due to proliferation of GVCs. It further presents the TiVA estimation methodology, as defined in the literature, and provides an overview of the data requirements for estimation. The paper reviews current initiatives on regional / international input-output tables (IOTs) and TiVA analysis, and availability of data in the Asia-Pacific region.


Outward FDI by Indian Manufacturing MNEs: Impacts and Implications

Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by Indian firms has increased significantly in recent years. Such investments by Indian firms have gone to more than 100 host countries. However, little is known about the effects of such OFDI on domestic activity of Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs). The paper investigates the home-country effects of OFDI by Indian manufacturing firms during 2008/09 to 2011/12 using a quasi-experimental technique.